Profile and Perceptions of Biogas as Automobile Fuel : A Study of Svensk Biogas

Master thesis, Bachelor thesis English OPEN
Larsson, Anneli (2008)
  • Publisher: Linköpings universitet, Tema vatten i natur och samhälle
  • Subject: renewable automobile fuel | SAMHÄLLSVETENSKAP | SOCIAL SCIENCES | Biogas | profile | TEKNIKVETENSKAP | TECHNOLOGY | Svensk Biogas AB | perception

From an environmental- and health perspective, biogas and other biomass-based fuels have several advantages; nevertheless the majority of motorists fill their cars with petroleum-based fuels. This thesis is designed to explore the profile of biogas in relation to its perceptions. It is a study concerning the communication between the biogas producing company Svensk Biogas and their biogas users and non biogas users. To obtain a thorough understanding of the profile and perceptions of biogas a qualitative approach was considered appropriate. Biogas users and non-users were interviewed at gasoline stations, while Svensk Biogas was interviewed as a group. The three interview segments were analyzed and compared in order to identify patterns, similarities and differences. Based on research data the thesis concludes that the profiling arguments of biogas correlates to that biogas is the most environmentally friendly fuel, the least expensive fuel, and locally produced. Furthermore, the company profile of Svensk Biogas is equal to sustainable alternative, locally produced, trustworthy, environmentally friendly and climate smart [klimatsmart]. Given the arguments of the company profile, environmental values seem to be the core communicating value. Profiling Svensk Biogas happens through events and by using communication material such as company logotype. Motorists have an overall positive perception of biogas. Biogas users states environmental benefits as the key argument behind their commitment. Non-users are positive toward biogas although expressing a lack of knowledge confusing biogas with ethanol and bio-fuels in general. According to motorists the negative perceptions, in addition to the prerequisites of biogas, are connected to insufficient infrastructure of biogas filling stations, a short range of the biogas tank, a high investment cost of a biogas car, a biogas price increase, scarcity of cars, and information (lack of information and misleading information). The overall perception of Svensk Biogas among biogas users is positive. Biogas users express a negative perception concerning the Svensk Biogas filling stations and also wish for a lower biogas price. Non-users express modest perceptions of the company. This research also concludes that perceptions of the biogas producer are correlated to the perceptions of biogas. Furthermore, biogas producer, users and non-users wish to be directed by political decisions, guiding them toward environmentally friendly fuel alternatives.
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